The bathroom is an area that you likely spend more time in than you realize. This multifunctional space deserves the same attention as the rest of the home or building in terms of design. From bathroom lighting to storage to visual appeal, we will dive into the ins and outs of styling a bathroom below.
How To Plan a New Bathroom Layout
Before you commit to any bathroom lights or decor, you should first plan where everything is going to go. There are a few steps you can take toward this end:
- DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS. First, consider who will be using the room. This means thinking about things such as whether it is a family bathroom in need of room for toys or an ensuite for two adults. If you want a spa-style bathroom, you’ll need certain fittings, like a separate shower and bath, double basins, towel rails, storage and more. On the other hand, a guest bathroom will require only the bare minimum.
- MEASURE THE ROOM. Determine the dimensions of the room, including not just the space but the doors, windows and other areas that could impact the design. Plan the various elements in the bathroom and be sure you space them out enough that more than one person can be in there at a time.
- PICK YOUR LAYOUT. Planning the right bathroom layout will be time consuming but will guarantee results you are satisfied with when all is said and done. There is a chance you may already like the layout, so you can just keep it if that’s the case.
One of the best ways to plan a bathroom is to make cutout pieces of the plumbing fixtures and storage furniture you are planning to use in the bathroom and arrange them on a table to get a visual sense of where everything will be. Below you will find a few specific steps to take to plan a bathroom:
- FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU WANT TO POSITION THE TOILET. You will most likely have this chosen for you by the position of the plumbing. Therefore, this fixture should be considered first, so you don’t accidentally cover the only place it can go with other furniture.
- CHOOSE YOUR PRODUCTS. Now is the time to determine what other elements you want to incorporate. This includes any bathroom furniture, showers, bathtubs, types of basins, bidets and, of course, bathroom light fixtures.
- PLACE THE IMPORTANT PIECES. Decide where you want your bath and/or shower to go. These are large installations that you can then install any extras around while ensuring they have enough space. You will need to consider bathroom lighting zones and IP ratings when completing this step.
- DECIDE BETWEEN NEEDS AND WANTS. There are some essential items like toilets, sinks and a shower that you cannot go without. Then, there are things that are simply nice to have. This includes things like heated towel rails and bathroom storage. Now is the time during the planning process to consider these things.
- CONSIDER AESTHETICS. Now that the important tasks have been planned and taken care of, you can start to think about the appearance. This includes things like bathroom tiles, mirrors and other decorative features.
How To design an Ensuite Bathroom
For an en-suite bathroom, there are many options to choose from. Below are a few general tips to keep in mind to help you plan an end-suite bathroom:
- Usually, your ensuite will be smaller and have certain challenges like awkwardly placed walls or sloping loft ceilings. Making up for the strange design of most ensuites is having built-in solutions like cupboard space and shelving. You can also put a small basin in an alcove space to make the most of it.
- SAVE SPACE. In the same vein, you can look for compact items that will help you make the most of your space while still giving you room to move around. For smaller bathrooms, wall-mounted toilets or basins are usually the best choice. If you don’t have a lot of wall space to work with, corner basins are a good choice.
- PLACE THE DOORS. Decide where the door will be placed and the way you will hinge it. If a standard door does not open all the way into the bathroom or otherwise does so awkwardly, you could consider a sliding or folding door instead.
- Bathrooms can easily become cluttered, especially ensuites that you walk through most days. Factor in smart storage to counteract this. This includes things like vanity units with built-in cupboards, shelves on walls, storage beneath basins and more.
- PLAN ITS STYLE. Since it is directly attached to your bedroom, your ensuite should match the bedroom in some way. Choose a similar colour scheme or decor pieces to accomplish this. This includes bathroom wall sconces, over mirror lights, bathroom ceiling lights and other modern bathroom lighting.
How Much Storage Do You Need in a Bathroom?
As mentioned, bathrooms can easily become quite cluttered. To avoid this, you should consider adding storage. But how much exactly do you need?
The first step will be to measure the size of the bathroom. This includes total floor space, wall heights and sizes of the appliances and fixtures in the room. The size will determine the amount and size of furniture that you can include there in the first place. Keep in mind electrical rules for certain appliances when considering placement.
Once you know this, you can think about just how much you will actually want to keep in your bathroom. Some people only want to keep a few towels and toiletries in their bathrooms. Others like to store dozens of cosmetics within easy reach.
How much you want to store is directly proportionate to how much storage you are going to need. Mounted mirror cabinets will help you store small toiletries, extra soap and medicines to keep them out of sight without taking up too much room. Wall-mounted shelves can hold towels to free up floor space.
Why You Must Use IP Rated Lights in a Bathroom
LED Bathroom lighting presents its own set of challenges that lights in other rooms do not. This is due to the moisture that is usually in the air, as well as the chance for splashing. Bathroom wall lights have different requirements from bathroom mirror lights, and these two lights both have separate IP rating needs from lights directly over the shower.
IP ratings determine the protection that lights have against wet and dry elements. The first digit refers to its protection from solid objects. The second number is indicative of its protection against water.
Below are the meanings of the first and second numbers respectively:
- 0 – No protection offered
- 1 – Offers protection from solid objects measuring 50 millimeters or more
- 2 – Offers protection from solid objects measuring 12 millimeters or more
- 3 – Offers protection from solid objects measuring 2.5 millimeters or more
- 4 – Offers protection from solid objects measuring one millimeter or more
- 5 – Offers protection from dust
- 6 – Completely dust tight
- 0 – No protection offered
- 1 – Offers protection from vertically falling water droplets
- 2 – Offers protection from water droplets that fall at an angle of 15 degrees
- 3 – Offers protection from water like rain at an angle of 60 degrees
- 4 – Offers protection from water projection or splashing
- 5 – Offers protection from low-pressure jets
- 6 – Offers protection from high-pressure jets
- 7 – Offers protection during brief immersion
- 8 – Offers protection during long periods of immersion
Why Are Bathroom Lighting Zones Important When Planning Your Bathroom Lighting?
Now that you know what IP ratings are, how do they translate in a practical way? The answer is that the lighting zones in the bathroom will determine what IP rating you will need:
- Zone 0 – This area is inside the shower or bath itself. This area requires IP67 rated lighting.
- Zone 1 – This area is above the bath as high as 2.24 meters from the floor and needs IP65 rated lighting.
- Zone 2 – This area reaches .6 meters from the bath’s perimeter. It needs an IP rating of IP44.
- Zone 3 – This area falls outside of any of the above-mentioned areas where no jet water can reach. There is no lighting requirement here, but you should consider some sort of protection for them.
How To Light a Bathroom
There are many kinds of bathroom lights you have to choose from when lighting domestic and hotel bathrooms alike. These include:
- Over mirror lighting
- Task lighting
- Vanity lighting
- Wall sconces
Below are some things to keep in mind to help you light your bathroom:
- PLAN IT OUT. Choose where you want to place your bathroom lights at the beginning of the planning phase. This can be done when you are sketching where you want to place the other fixtures in your bathroom.
- USE LIGHT LAYERS. Add layered lighting to bring illumination across the entire space. This includes an ambient layer, accent layer and task lighting layer if applicable.
- AMBIENT LIGHTING. This is the general lighting that gives you overall illumination in the space. Usually, this comes in the form of bathroom LED downlights. They will shine a light from the top down, and you can help its movement with other layers of light. This includes accent lighting such as bathroom LED Wall Lights.
- TASK LIGHTING. Over mirror lighting will help you more comfortably see when shaving or putting on makeup.
How Important Is a Mirror in a Bathroom?
There are many benefits to adding a mirror to your bathroom:
- IMPROVES THE LIGHTING. Mirrors will reflect light that will make the bathroom look better lit and brighter.
- ENHANCES ITS SIZE. Mirrors in a bathroom can make it look larger and therefore feel less dark and cramped.
- DISGUISES IMPERFECTIONS. If you have any areas on the wall that have holes or other imperfections, mirrors are a practical and decorative way to cover them up.
- ADDS STYLE. Mirrors can be just as decorative as any other item you can place in the bathroom. They come with the added functional benefits that take their appeal one step further.
Tips on How To Style a Bathroom
With all of the practical elements of bathroom design taken care of, you can begin to think about the aesthetics of the space. Below are a few style options for your consideration:
- MAKE YOUR VANITY STAND OUT. You can add a tray beneath your toothbrush and soap holders to give them a place they belong. Put some decorative items on top in odd numbers, as that is naturally more appealing to the eye. Adding a small plant, piece of coral or other natural element will give it a cosy feel.
- USE TEXTILES TO CREATE A STATEMENT. Using towels, shower curtains and other fabrics including rugs, you can add some dimension and style to the bathroom while also warming it up.
- STYLISH STORAGE. When planning storage, opt for furnishings that are as stylish as they are functional.
- USE BASKETS. Grouping similar items in baskets will give the bathroom a satisfyingly organized look and feel. This will also hide things you don’t necessarily want on display, such as toilet paper and other eyesores.
- DECORATE THE WALLS. Use mirrors, artwork, accent lighting and other features to make your bathroom walls come to life. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders for a drab space.
- USE CLEAR JARS. Cotton products such as cotton swabs and cotton balls can be stored in glass jars for a rustic look.
How To Create a Luxury Bathroom in a Hotel
Lighting in a hotel is important to the guest experience, and hotel bathroom lighting is no different. Below are some tips on lighting your hotel bathroom:
- CREATE AN OPEN CONCEPT BATHROOM. This will give the space an integrated and spacious feeling that is quite luxurious.
- BLACK SHOWERS. A black shower will create a dramatic look in the bathroom to create a bold and classy statement.
- CONSIDER MONOCHROME. Having a monochrome colour scheme can make any bathroom into a modern minimalist dream.
- PLAY WITH CONTRAST. By pairing and mixing and matching bold colours, you can make the hotel bathroom into an eye-catching feature of the suite.
- WALK-IN SHOWERS. A walk-in shower is one that instantly makes any bathroom seem more modern, spacious and comfortable—all important elements for a luxury bathroom.
- FLOATING FURNITURE. Attach basins to walls to give the space a cleaner, more modern appearance.
Five Bathroom Light Fixtures To Consider
Perfect for accent lighting, the LWA431 6 Watt Round IP65 Bathroom Wall Light is a decorative modern light fixture that brings illumination and style throughout the whole bathroom. It has a smooth circular shape with either a black or white finish that fits into any colour scheme with ease. The 3000 warm white light shines back onto the wall for an artistic effect.
Create a sleek, modern-looking bathroom with the Onyx 6 Watt Black Bathroom LED Downlight Fitting. This recessed light sits flush with the ceiling and shines light from overhead. The black finish allows the fitting to easily be incorporated into rooms of any colour scheme, and the round shape works well with any design style.
Go for a sleeker look with the LWA345 6 Watt Polished Chrome Bathroom Wall Light. Perfect for mounting over mirrors, it can provide flattering task lighting. It outputs 600 lumens, making it not too bright but not too dull. The opal acrylic shade diffuses the light well.
Using the LWA339 12 Watt LED Stainless Steel Bathroom Wall Light, you can go for a classic Hollywood-style vanity area. The four exposed bulbs against the stainless steel back plate make this inline light stand out with its classy appeal. The fitting output a total of 960 lumens, giving you more than enough light to get ready for the day.
Make a statement in your bathroom with the decorative LWA433 6 Watt Triangular IP65 Bathroom Wall Light. The fitting features a triangular shape with softened edges that give it a decorative look. The light shines back onto the wall, giving the already artistic black or white fitting even more flair.
Bathroom lights play an important role in the look, feel and function of your bathroom. Above, we have discussed some of the basics of bathroom lighting while offering plenty of tips on how to decorate your own.